Baltimore Business Journal: Atlas Restaurant Group raises minimum wage to $15 an hour

Atlas Restaurant Group logo

The following is an excerpt from the original Baltimore Business Journal article.

Atlas Restaurant Group, which employs 1,200 workers across three states, is raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour beginning next month.

The Baltimore-based hospitality group whose 21 upscale restaurants and bars include Ouzo Bay, The Bygone, Italian Disco and Tagliata in Harbor East and the newly opened Watershed in Federal Hill and Perennial in Towson announced the change Aug. 12, saying the raises will impact about 30% of its workforce. The company had 816 workers in the Baltimore area as of July, according to BBJ research.

The move is the latest to reset hourly pay for workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the business shutdowns, furloughs and high unemployment rates that followed. Much of the country is now facing problems hiring and retaining enough workers as businesses attempt to reopen and restart.

Atlas joins other Baltimore businesses like Under Armour, Care First BlueCross BlueShield, Morgan State University and Johns Hopkins University in the immediate hourly pay hike as the move is taking root across the U.S.

“We just decided that with everything going on in the country now and what employees went through in the past year with issues like paying rent and groceries, it’s a quality of life issue now,” said Alex Smith, CEO of Atlas Restaurant Group. “We want to retrench and make sure the core of our employees are taken care of and we decided we were going to do it.”

Atlas workers were informed of the pay raise in an email sent Aug. 11. Tipped workers are included in the pay boost and will all receive a base pay of $15 an hour, plus tips, eliminating any stress from a so-called slow night with fewer customers to wait on or tables to clear.

Smith said the $15 per hour commitment will cost the company “seven figures” and includes both part-time and full-time workers as well. Some Atlas workers already making $15 an hour will be getting an extra hourly bump, too, Smith said.

Read the complete article here.

Source: Baltimore Business Journal

Also see: